Do you have a question about The Bell Tower, one of the most interesting Perth tourist attractions? Find the answer here.
Who designed the Bell Tower?
- William Hames, Executive Chairman of Perth based architectural firm Hames Sharley (WA) Pty Ltd., is the architect who designed the Bell Tower.
Who built it?
- John Holland Group constructed the Bell Tower.
Why do we have the Bells?
- The St Martin in the Fields Bells were gifted to the people of Western Australia to commemorate Australia’s bicentenary in 1988. Patron of the Bell Tower Mr Laith Reynolds was the one who saved the St Martin-in-the-Fields Bells from being melted down to form new ones, as they had become too heavy for the ancient foundations of the church in Trafalgar Square, London. After this he campaigned to have a specially built tower in Perth to bring them to life for all West Australians.
When do the bells actually ring?
- The bell ringers ring every Monday and Thursday 12pm-1pm. General ringing also takes place every Sunday 12pm -1pm.
How can I ring the bells?
- You can have a go at chiming the bells! The Bell Tower Chiming Experience tours run:
Monday – Saturday from 10.30am – 2.30pm every 30minutes. *The bell ringers ring every Monday and Thursday 12pm-1pm so no chiming demonstrations take place during these times. You can still visit us on Sundays! No need to book online, just show up on the day and enjoy General Entry pricing. Bell Ringing also takes place every Sunday 12pm -1pm.
What can I see at the Bell Tower if the bells aren’t ringing?
- Our Audio Visual System tells the story and history of the Bells and the Tower as you visit the three main viewing levels in the tower. The bell ringing viewing level houses our ‘It’s about Time’ display- We have amassed a fascinating array of precision timepieces, bells and optical instruments that demonstrate how time was kept in the mechanical era before the ‘world went digital’. On the belfry level you can see the historic bells of St. Martins in the fields in all their glory and also displays about the architect and builders of the Bell Tower. Our lofty observation deck offers spectacular 360 degree views of the Swan River and Perth city. Our brand new display is the oldest bell in Australia- The Upton Grey Bell cast over 450 years ago in approximately 1550, was once one four that rang out from the tower of the parish church at Upton Grey in Hampshire, England. You can see the old timber headstock bearing the carved date of 1763. The bell weighs 459 kg and visitors are enjoying the opportunity of being photographed with the oldest bell in Australia.
I want to hire the tower for a function, what do I do?
- The Bell Tower can definitely help with venue hire Perth. Our unique location enables us to offer a fantastic corporate function venue, small wedding venue, cocktail party venue, or any other type of function you require. Our professional team can tailor a proposal for your requirements.. For more information or to arrange a site visit, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly staff. The Bell Tower Barrack Square Perth. Ph: +61 8 6210 0444 | Fax: + 61 8 6210 0499.
Can I bring a tour group/school group into the tower?
- Yes, we welcome group bookings and school excursions in Perth, big or small to visit the tower. The Bell Tower is a safe and controlled environment, our experienced staff are skilled at dealing with large groups of students and adults alike. The Bell Tower is an integral part of Perth’s heritage and something that every Western Australian should experience. For more information or to book your group, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly staff.
Ph: +61 8 6210 0444
Who runs the Bell Tower?
- The Swan Bells Foundation, is a not for profit, independent foundation established to promote bell ringing and manage the running of The Bell Tower.
Where are all the school names in the tower?
- The School names are now located on the Signature Ring in Barrack Square – South East of the Bell Tower – The names are engraved on the Signature Ring which is a collaborative effort by local artists Simon Gauntlett and Matthew Ngui. It reflects a headphone-shaped design featuring fibre optics that illuminate interactive panels representing the passage of time from 2000 to the present.
I heard you can get married at the Bell Tower, is this true?
- Yes! As one of the most unique wedding venues in Perth, we have successfully hosted many wedding ceremonies and receptions at the Bell Tower. Contact us for further details.
Are the bells rung by machines?
- No, the bells are rung by real life humans! They are all volunteers and members of the St. Martin’s Society of Change Ringers Inc.
What tunes are played on the bells?
- It is not possible to play tunes on the Bell Tower’s bells. Instead the bells are rung in full circle, each by one ringer, and controlled by a rope attached to a wheel beside the bell.
How much does it cost to visit the tower?
- Adults $18
Children (0-4) Free
Children (5-14) $9
Family $44 (2 Adults and 2 Children aged 5-14)
- Concession cards accepted:
Australian Government senior card holders
Centrelink card holders
Full time student card holders
Companion Card for Disability Carers. A valid concession card must be produced to gain concession entry. Children under the age of 5 years are permitted free of charge.
Where is the Bell Tower and how do I get there?
- The Bell Tower is situated in Barrack Square in Perth CBD, Western Australia. You can catch the Blue Cat bus or we are a short walk from the heart of the city towards the river on Barrack street.
Why is the Bell Tower sometimes called Swan Bells?
- We are situated right on the majestic Swan River and the black swan is the symbol of Western Australia.
Can I learn to be a bell ringer?
- Yes! Members of the St Martin’s Society of Change Ringers, the resident ringing group at Swan Bells, train newcomers at the Swan Bells. Depending on trainer availability, they offer a free introduction to ringing, followed by an 8-week course on Sunday mornings. Anyone interested are welcome to contact Tony – the Tower Captain to determine if training is available. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the Friends of the Bells programme?
- Purchased a ticket for the Bell Tower Experience? For just $10 extra you can become a Friend of the Bells! As a valued member you are entitled to unlimited free visits for one year and a 10% discount on all our merchandise. When you provide an email address we will keep you up to date with special events and exclusive offers only available to Friends of the Bells.
How does the Bell Tower fit into the community?
- For centuries the role of bell ringing has been to celebrate the joy of weddings, victories and special anniversaries, and also to intone the sadness of deaths and funerals. For example in remembrance of the second anniversary of the Bali tragedy on 12 October 2004, the bells were tolled at dawn (5.40am), 16 times each hour on the hour from 7am-10pm and then for the last time at 11.08pm, the actual time the tragedy occurred. The tragedy of September 11 was also remembered with a special ringing on the anniversary. At the Bell Tower we often donate our time and services to local and international charities and organisations such as the Camp Quality, Rotary, St. Vincent de Paul, and the Australia Cambodia Foundation amongst others.